Night Shift, by Nora Roberts (Night Tales #1)

>> Thursday, October 30, 2003

I was recently talking to a friend who loves series (as in related books) and I was telling her about Nora Roberts. Not too surprisingly, after talking about books I've loved, I felt the need to reread them.

I started with the Night Tales series, a group of five related books with the common thread of having characters who are night people. The first one is Night Shift.

IN THE STILL OF THE NIGHT

The calls came like clockwork -- a cold, hate-filled voice telling late-night radio announcer Cilla O'Roarke that she was going to die. The never-ending threats had finally made her a believer. She was desperate -- desperate enough to accept police protection.

Cilla preferred to keep her distance from the police, and she had her reasons. But there was something about Boyd Fletcher that made him difficult to ignore. He was strong, laconic, infuriating and clearly determined to watch over her every second of the day -- and night.

And the trouble was, the more Cilla saw of her unwanted bodyguard, the more she wanted him to share the night she loved....
Most of it was just ok, but it had enough special moments to make it a B.

The whole first part of the book was pretty lackluster. It felt like it had very little originality, like every other (and there are quite a few) book about a woman who has the need for police (or bodyguard) protection against a stalker and falls in love with the man assigned to protect her. It was very unoriginal, down to the heroine who very feistily (I hate that word!) denies that she needs the hero's help, and I had trouble keeping my attention on the book. My mind just kept wondering. Oh, and I was irritated by all the music references. I suppose they were pretty mainstream, and most Americans would recognize them, but not being American myself, I didn't get 90% of them and it got very tedious.

But the book gradually became better, probably starting when Cilla ditched her stupid "I don't need a bodyguard" attitude, and there were certain moments, like the first love scene which were wonderful. By the time I got to the final crisis I was having lots of fun.

Of course, there were a few problems in that final half of the book. For instance, it was not really credible that when she was asked about guys in her past she'd rejected, Cilla didn't remember the guy who'd stalked her and even given her a wedding ring. I really can't buy that she wouldn't remember it, it was too recent! But still, the balance was very positive, positive enough to balance the weak first part and get the grade to B-range.

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